2016 Finalists Announced for the 11th Annual EthicMark® Awards

2016 Finalists Announced for the 11th Annual EthicMark® Awards

Winners to be Announced at 2016 SRI Conference

Saint Augustine, FL  (August 12, 2016)  Advertising across all media is expected to reach $579 billion this year.  Out of this global information overload, the EthicMark® Awards have narrowed the field for the 2016 Awards for advertising that uplifts the human spirit and society, founded in 2004 by sustainability pioneer and renowned futurist Hazel Henderson.  The goal is to transform advertising by demonstrating the power of media campaigns to inspire and further both public and legitimate private interests.

The five finalist in the For Profit category are

The five finalist in the Non-Profit category are

Goals and criteria refined over the past ten years raise the bar: showcasing ethical advertisements which portray and reinforce healthy lifestyles and behavior for consumers, youth and community.  The product AND the company or organization must meet high standards of integrity, responsibility, trustworthiness, transparency and fairness, while respecting diversity.  Ads avoid promoting self-destructive or socially irresponsible behavior, particularly to young people, avoid exploitation of violence, cruelty, sensationalism, and degrading and pathological portrayals.  The ad, product AND organization respect consumers and refrain from greenwashing, exaggeration, instilling fear, psychological manipulation or misusing brain science.

“The growth in positive advertising is most visible in non-OECD countries which are creative, building on limited resources and leapfrogging over expensive traditional media to optimize the use of online and social media,” says Hazel Henderson.  A runner-up last year came from the online campaign asking “Who Are You?”, encouraging Middle Eastern women to acknowledge their own names.  2016 sees a similar campaign among the finalists, “Give Mom Back Her Name” from the United Nations, encouraging men in Egypt to see women fully.

When considering what makes an advertising campaign ethical, one must also consider the company, not just the message or the product.  There are beautiful messages aligned with unhealthy products; useful products mere gimmicks for green branding; dedicated non-profits without the means to convey an impressive message.  We need to apply ethical criteria to product, messaging and company to set the standard at its highest. When Hazel Henderson founded the awards, she set up a “carrot rather than a stick,” asking tough questions, letting companies know they are scrutinized.

Consumers reward ethical advertising.  The 2015 EthicMark® Awards honored Lucky Iron Fish, a for-profit, Certified B Corporation, using creative marketing to address chronic low levels of iron found in diets throughout Cambodia.  Of equal caliber, the 2016 EthicMark® Awards winners will be announced at the 27th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, November 9-11, 2016, in Denver, CO (http://www.sriconference.com/).

Rosalinda Sanquiche, Executive Director, Ethical Markets Media; Managing Director, EthicMark Awards, rsanquiche@ethicalmarkets.com, 904-829-3140

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